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Niagara Falls short-term rental issue flares again as Council plans law changes

Niagara Falls short-term rental issue flares again as Council plans law changes

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Niagara Falls City Hall. 

A week after imposing a 3½-month moratorium on new Airbnbs and other short-term rentals, the Niagara Falls City Council is considering a legal change that may affect the issue.

The Council voted 3-1 Wednesday to set a June 23 public hearing on changing the rule that requires the Council to muster a unanimous vote to approve something the city Planning Board defeated. The proposal would allow passage by a 4-1 Council vote.

Councilman Frank A. Soda said planning boards are only advisory, so the unanimity rule is "exceedingly restrictive."

Last year, the Planning Board rejected Mayor Robert M. Restaino's proposal to restrict short-term rentals to certain parts of the city. The Council voted 4-1 in favor of that law, but that margin was insufficient.

Councilman William Kennedy II, who voted no on last year's law and last week's moratorium, also voted against scheduling the public hearing. "I just think the timing of this ordinance stinks because of everything that's going on," he said.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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